HARRISBURG, Pa., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today thanked the members of the House of Representatives for their quick action to pass House Bill 1, the Fair Share Act, which would end abusive and frivolous civil lawsuits that target parties with "deep pockets" instead of the defendants who are most culpable.
"Excessive and frivolous lawsuits hinder job growth and hurt taxpayers by increasing costs for business, health care, consumer goods and services,'' Corbett said. "This is a key component in addressing the issue most important to Pennsylvania – jobs.''
The Senate Judiciary Committee also had a hearing on the issue today, Corbett noted. Corbett expressed his appreciation to both chambers for advancing the measure toward final passage.
"Pennsylvania should no longer remain one of the few states where the legal system can hold a person, company or local government agency liable for 100 percent of the damages despite having had only a minor role in any incident resulting in a lawsuit,'' he said.
Under House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Curt Schroder, civil damages would be awarded based on a defendant's degree of responsibility in the majority of cases. Currently, all defendants are considered equally culpable for damages.
"This legislation will ensure that an individual's level of financial culpability is assessed in a fair and equitable manner, instead of an assessment of the person's financial assets,'' Corbett said. "This is the first step toward a comprehensive tort reform solution.''
The measure would improve Pennsylvania's economic climate and competitiveness, Corbett added.
"The General Assembly has shown vision and leadership in passing this legislation,'' Corbett said. "I can assure you that when this important measure arrives on my desk in its current form, I will sign it into law. I stand ready and willing to work with the House and Senate to institute meaningful tort reform.''
Media contact: Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor